Paul Ryan is leaving Congress, but his party could lose seats in this election. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Republicans would need to lose 48 U.S. House seats and seven U.S. Senate seats to technically qualify as a "wave" election against the president's party, according to a new report from Ballotpedia.

Why it matters: The report is really about semantics and establishing an objective definition of a "wave election," but it gives important historical context for the 2018 election and helps better understand each party's chances in November.

How they got the numbers

Ballotpedia defines a "wave" election as "one in which the net seat change by the president's party falls into the top quintile of historical changes." They compiled data from 1918 to 2016.

  • U.S. House: In 11 of the 50 elections since 1918, the president's party lost 48 or more seats in the House. Six of those 11 "wave" elections occurred during the president's first midterm election.
  • U.S. Senate: In 10 of the 48 Senate elections since 1918 the president's party lost seven or more seats. Three of those 10 "wave" elections were in the president's first midterm.

Down-ballot: Republicans would need to lose seven gubernatorial seats, and 494 state legislative seats for those to be considered "wave" elections.

Bottom line: Democrats need to pick up two dozen seats in the House and claim a net gain of two seats in the U.S. Senate to win both of those chambers. Even if it's not considered a "wave," that'll be a win for the Democratic Party.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. EST: 32,135,220 — Total deaths: 981,660 — Total recoveries: 22,149,441Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m EST: 6,975,980 — Total deaths: 202,738 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,481,026Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats prepare new $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief package.
  4. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  6. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  7. Sports: Pac-12 will play this fall despite ongoing pandemic — Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  8. Science: Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China — During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.
8 hours ago - Sports

Pac-12 will play football this fall, reversing course

A view of Levi's Stadium during the 2019 Pac-12 Championship football game. Photo: Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Pac-12, which includes universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, will play football starting Nov. 6, reversing its earlier decision to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The conference's about-face follows a similar move by the Big Ten last week and comes as President Trump has publicly pressured sports to resume despite the ongoing pandemic. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season, according to ESPN.

Dave Lawler, author of World
9 hours ago - World

Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China

Data: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A global initiative to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines now includes most of the world — but not the U.S., China or Russia.

Why it matters: Assuming one or more vaccines ultimately gain approval, there will be a period of months or even years in which supply lags far behind global demand. The COVAX initiative is an attempt to ensure doses go where they're most needed, rather than simply to countries that can produce or buy them at scale.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!